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Days 260-261 Saturday-Sunday January 5-6, 2008 – Portland & Robe Victoria to Adelaide, South Australia
Portland turned out to be a tourist driven coastal town without much to contain us other than a couple of natural wonders along the water. Since we didn’t have much to see in town, on Saturday morning we headed straight out to see Cape Bridgewater. Cape Bridgewater sits around 25km outside the city and before reaching it we made a quick stop at the Cape Nelson Lighthouse. While tours are given at certain times, we weren’t in luck this day, so we admired the building from below before moving on.
Once we arrived at the carpark on Cape Bridgewater the sun was brutal. This meant that the flies were out in full force. The two things we came to see at the cape were blowholes and the petrified forest. From the carpark we chose to head towards the petrified forest first. While the “forest” isn’t actually what its name would suggest, the rock formations found there were formed in cavities when trees rotted away thousands of years ago. The site of these formations was interesting but the flies really starting to get to us.
From the petrified forest, it was a five minute walk along the cliff side to the blowholes. When we arrived, a viewing platform overlooked the sea shore where waves crashed brutally into the rocks. These were very powerful and naturally beautiful blowholes and I was intrigued by them. While I wanted to stay and watch, once again the flies were completely unbearable. You might be thinking to yourself, “Didn’t you take a shower? Why are these flies bothering you?” Well I am proud to say that we weren’t the only people falling victim to the insects. Everyone was being attacked by massive amounts of flies. We did see one couple who had the right idea though!
Satisfied with what we had seen, the three of us made our way back to town. Since we had some extra time, we decided to visit a couple of small attractions before heading towards Robe. The first place we visited in town was the local botanical gardens. The gardens were very small and the highlight seemed to be a historic tram running around town that we encountered outside of them. Unfortunately the price was expensive and we passed on the experience. We had higher hopes for our next stop, the local armory. Unfortunately this wasn’t much more than a couple of old cannons. Of course, Shawn Reece always enjoys cannons so this wasn’t exactly a wash. Finally, before leaving town we went to the information center for a map and saw a small fair adjacent to the building. The fair had a roller coaster, but it was rather tame and for $8AUD I decided to pass. (Or Jasmine forbid me from spending the money!)
Once we finally left Portland in the early afternoon, it was a straight shot along the coast to Robe where we settled for the night. In lieu of staying in a holiday park, we opted to book into the YHA which is one of the nicer hostels we have seen on this trip. The YHA in Robe is built in a 19th century mansion that has loads of charm. Inside the massive building, a long corridor connects the dozen or so rooms. This place was really cool!
When we checked into the YHA, the receptionist recommended that we head over to the water at around 8:30pm to view the sunset. After dinner and without anything else to do we did just that. We have seen our share of beautiful sunsets on this trip and this one was among the best. You couldn’t have asked for a more scenic location.
On Sunday morning we had a bit of driving to do, so we found ourselves on the road pretty early. Before leaving Robe we drove 3km outside of town to the Beacon Hill lookout platform. This raised platform built in the middle of the bush provided us with 360 degree views of Robe and the surroundind area, including the ocean and a couple of lakes. The sight was quite beautiful.
The drive from Robe to Adelaide took over four hours. During the drive we stopped from time to time to take in the sights including the World Famous Larry The Lobster and an elevated viewing platform in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. Larry is suffering a bit and the town of Kingston is taking collections to fund his restoration. Apparently he lost one of his claws during a recent storm. It tugged on my heart strings.
We finally pulled into Adelaide at 4pm and headed to the holiday park. The Central Business District in Adelaide is completely surrounded by parkland, but the city looks as if it struggles to stay green with the ongoing drought. With our schedule wound pretty tight, we only had two days to explore Adelaide. Sunday night we spent some time planning our attack on the city before heading to bed. Once again we were out of nature and back in a city.
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The Coomer Family
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